Fi­nally, the last word on Elec­tion 2016 is near

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - BUSINESS - Janet Col­li­ton Colum­nist

In case you have not heard enough about the Pres­i­den­tial Elec­tion be­ing held on Nov. 8, here is some ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing what to ex­pect on your bal­lot on elec­tion day.

• Ju­di­cial Bal­lot Ques­tion. If you thought that the only choice was be­tween Hil­lary Clin­ton and Donald Trump, you would be wrong. Aside from can­di­dates for fed­eral and state of­fices which will be dis­cussed later, there is a bal­lot ref­er­en­dum you might miss. At the end of your bal­lot will be a ques­tion that was pulled from an ear­lier elec­tion due to phras­ing and is still confusing to many even with its new rein­car­na­tion. It is a ques­tion as to how long judges should serve.

The state­ment is “Shall the Penn­syl­va­nia Con­sti­tu­tion be amended to re­quire that jus­tices of the Supreme Court, judges, and mag­is­te­rial dis­trict judges be re­tired on the last day of the cal­en­dar year in which they at­tain the age of 75 years?” The ques­tion could use some clar­i­fi­ca­tion. What it fails to state is that cur­rent re­tire­ment age is the “last day of the cal­en­dar year in which (the in­di­cated par­ties) at­tain the age of 70 years.”

In other words the bal­lot ques­tion raises the re­tire­ment age from 70 to 75. There is no ob­vi­ous an­swer to this ques­tion and it is a mat­ter of opin­ion. Judges cur­rently who re­tire at age 70 may still stay on and sev­eral do stay on as Se­nior Judges

be­yond the age of 70 but at dif­fer­ent com­pen­sa­tion rates. The ques­tion is, in light of our greater longevity, should the reg­u­lar re­tire­ment age be al­lowed to be raised.

• Fed­eral Po­si­tions. By now, likely the vast ma­jor­ity of the elec­torate has al­ready de­cided their in­di­vid­ual choices for Pres­i­dent – Hil­lary Clin­ton or Donald Trump – and Vice Pres­i­dent – Tim Kaine or Mike Pence. I say this know­ing I am at risk of fail­ing to ad­dress the Con­sti­tu­tion Party, Green Party and Lib­er­tar­ian Party can­di­dates but rec­og­niz­ing as

is fre­quently pointed out it is un­likely that mem­bers of these par­ties would be suc­cess­ful although they rep­re­sent com­pet­ing other points of view.

Mov­ing down the bal­lot, on the fed­eral side, Katie McGinty (D) is chal­leng­ing Pat Toomey (R) for U.S. Se­na­tor. McGinty has served in the Wolf ad­min­is­tra­tion and is re­ceiv­ing strong sup­port from Clin­ton sup­port­ers. Toomey is the in­cum­bent and re­ceiv­ing strong sup­port from the GOP.

Mike Par­rish is run­ning against Ryan Costello, a for­mer County Com­mis­sioner, in the 6th U.S. Con­gres­sional Dis­trict, which in­cludes West Ch­ester and most of the eastern por­tion of the county.

Ch­ester County also in­cludes the 16th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict in its south­ern and some of its cen­tral ar­eas and the oddly shaped 7th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict (nick­named the “Bull­win­kle J. Moose” dis­trict for its shape like Bull­win­kle the Moose from “Rocky the Fly­ing Squir­rel” – you have to be old enough to get the al­lu­sion) which in­cludes parts of Ch­ester, Delaware, Mont­gomery, Berks and Lan­caster Coun­ties.

The race for the 16th is Lloyd Smucker (R) ver­sus Christina Hart­man (D). The race for the 7th is Pa­trick Mee­han (R) ver­sus Mary Ellen Balchu­nis (D).

• State Of­fices. Statewide of­fices in con­tention are At­tor­ney Gen­eral, Au­di­tor Gen­eral, and State Trea­surer. Both Josh Shapiro, the Demo­cratic candidate for At­tor­ney Gen­eral and John Raf­ferty, the Repub­li­can candidate, have promised to re­turn re­spectabil­ity and dig­nity to the At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s of­fice that every­one would agree was se­ri­ously tar­nished dur­ing the Kath­leen Kane pe­riod in this of­fice. From the per­spec­tive of elder law, Shapiro has promised in his an­nounce­ments also to pay close at­ten­tion to elder abuse and se­niors which is a hope­ful sign since con­sumer pro­tec­tion for elders has not been in­di­cated as a pri­or­ity for this of­fice for some time now.

Au­di­tor Gen­eral is Eu­gene A. DePasquale ver­sus John Brown. State Trea­surer

is Joe Torsella ver­sus Otto Voit.

State Se­na­tor. Andy Din­ni­man has been the in­cum­bent State Se­na­tor for some time now in Ch­ester County’s 19th Dis­trict. Be­fore be­com­ing State Se­na­tor he served as Ch­ester County Com­mis­sioner. He is op­posed by Jack Lon­don. Other Ch­ester County Other Ch­ester County Sen­a­to­rial Dis­tricts are the 9th, 26th and 44th.

State Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. There are so many races af­fect­ing Ch­ester County rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the Gen­eral As­sem­bly that ref­er­ence would have to be made to the county web­site at www.chesco.org. Check out Voter Ser­vices. There are Sam­ple Bal­lots for your dis­trict that are

easy to find.

Janet Col­li­ton, Col­li­ton Elder Law As­so­ciates, PC, lim­its her prac­tice to elder law, life care and spe­cial needs plan­ning, Med­i­caid, es­tate plan­ning and ad­min­is­tra­tion and guardian­ships and is lo­cated at 790 East Mar­ket St., Suite 250, West Ch­ester, PA 19382, 610-436-6674, col­li­ton@col­li­ton­law.com. She is also, with Jef­frey Jones, CSA, co-founder of Life Tran­si­tion Ser­vices LLC, a ser­vice for fam­i­lies with long-term care needs. Lis­ten in to ra­dio WCHE 1520 “50+ Plan­ning Ahead” with Phil McFad­den, Home In­stead Se­nior Care, and Janet Col­li­ton, Col­li­ton Elder Law As­so­ciates, on Wed­nes­days at 4 p.m.

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